Nicholas II of Russia


1868 – 1918


Who was Nicholas II of Russia?

Nicholas II of Russia (Nikolai Aleksandrovich Romanov) (18 May[O.S. 6 May]1868 – 17 July[O.S. 4 July]1918) (Russian: Никола́й II, Nikolay II) was the last Emperor of Russia, King of Poland, and Grand Duke of Finland. He ruled from 1894 until his forced abdication in 1917. Nicholas proved unable to manage a country in political turmoil and command its army in World War I. His rule ended with the Russian Revolution of 1917, after which he and his family were shot by Bolsheviks. Nicholas's full name was Nikolay Aleksandrovich Romanov (Никола́й Алекса́ндрович Рома́нов). His official title was Nicholas II, Emperor and Autocrat of All the Russias. He is sometimes referred to as Nicholas the Martyr due to his execution and as Bloody Nicholas because of the tragic events during his coronation and his government's subsequent suppression of dissent. As a result of his canonization, he has been regarded as Saint Nicholas The Passion Bearer by the Russian OrthodoxNicholas was determined to uphold authority yet lacked assertiveness. He was Obstinate, ineffectual, easily influenced. He had genuine affection for the people but expected them to be blindly obedient. He was as a ‘little man lost in the immensity of his realm’ The Reign of Nicholas up to 1905 He has a bad start to his regime. In 1895 Members of the Tver Zemstvo requested opportunity to express opinions to the government; Nicholas rejected them as ‘senseless dreams’. The Celebrations at his coronation contained free beer stampede, 1300 dead. Nicholas II carried on celebrations by attending a French Ball, visiting hospitals next day. This did great damage as he was seen as uncaring, reinforced on Bloody Sunday (1905) Reform requests were rejected by Nicholas. University unrest grew, 1899 student protests suppressed and universities were closed. Many students joined the SRs who increased assassinations, e.g. Interior Minister (Plehve). Russification continued. The unrest in the Countryside grew as with land hunger plus SR propaganda. Towns’ unrest e.g. 1896 St. Petersburg strike, Led Zubatov (Moscow Okhrana chief) to set up a union to monitor unrest. However it failed as it became involved in General Strike in Odessa in 1903 and Zubatov was dismissed. Father Gapon was allowed to set up ‘The Assembly of Russian Factory Workers’ to channel unrest however it Backfired and led to Bloody Sunday involvement. By 1900a Cross-section of society was discontented, Reformist / revolutionary ideas were spreading and Peasant uprisings, assassinations, strikes1906 – 14: The Dumas The October manifesto decreed that no law should come into force without the consent of the state Duma.Witte resigned just before the first duma to be replaced by Goremykin (conservative). Govt cabinet contained no progressives Duma (1): April to June 1906 Top parties = Labourists (SRs had boycotted), Kadets (REFORMIST)Liberals had high hopesexpected to be able to debate the big issuesNot offered by the govtTsarist regime recovering after 1905Early 1906 govt had a big loan from the French (no financial hold could be gained by the Duma)Fundamental Laws restrictiveBi-cameral duma – elected lower house plus State Council (appointed)Right of vetoOverall no intention of allowing the duma powerBitter mood, voiced anger, far from compliant – felt betrayedDissolved in atmosphere of violence200 deputies reassemble at Vyborg – ‘Appeal’ urging people to stop paying taxes and disobey conscription. Reaction was scattered violence rather than passive resistancearrested and debarred from future. No real defence of the duma…prelude to Stolypin repressionLong-term effectsKadets never really recover from humiliation, liberals discredited, played into the hands of the extremes Duma (2): February to June 1907 VyborgKadets lost half their seats (two leading Kadets assassinated during elections)Still no...

Famous Quotes:

  • “I am not yet ready to be Tsar. I know nothing of the business of ruling.”
  • “There is no justice among men.”
  • “First Baptist of Ivy Gap”
  • This is not a question of confidence or lack of it. It is my will. Remember that we live in Russia, not abroad... and therefore I shall not consider the possibility of any resignation."
  • "In the days of the great struggle against the foreign enemies, who for nearly three years have tried to enslave our fatherland, the Lord God has been pleased to send down on Russia a new heavy trial. Internal popular disturbances threaten to have a disastrous effect on the future conduct of this persistent war. The destiny of Russia, the honor of our heroic army, the welfare of the people and the whole future of our dear fatherland demand that the war should be brought to a victorious conclusion whatever the cost. The cruel enemy is making his last efforts, and already the hour approaches when our glorious army together with our gallant allies will crush him. In these decisive days in the life of Russia, We thought it Our duty of conscience to facilitate for Our people the closest union possible and a consolidation of all national forces for the speedy attainment of victory. In agreement with the Imperial Duma We have thought it well to renounce the Throne of the Russian Empire and to
  • “I am just a plain, common man.”
  • "All around me is cowardice and deceit."
  • Well, this may have once been a ham, but now it is nothing but an ex-ham."
  • '' In the morning I warmed myself while sitting on the greenhouse roof.''
  • '' Lord, save Russia and bring her peace.''

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May 18, 1868
Tsarskoye Selo
Also known as
  • Nikolay Alexandrovich Romanov
  • Bloody Nicholas
  • Nicholas II
  • Czar Nicholas II
  • Tsar Nicholas II
  • Tsarevich Nicholas II
  • Tsar Nikolaj II
  • Nikolay II
  • Nicky
  • Nicholas the Short
  • Russian Orthodox Church
  • Eastern Orthodox Church
  • Russian
  • Caucasian race
  • Russian Empire
Lived in
  • Saint Petersburg
  • Crimea
  • Moscow
  • Tsarskoye Selo
Jul 17, 1918
Resting place
Peter and Paul Cathedral

on July 23, 2013


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